JumpTV, the broadcaster of ethnic television over the internet, announced today that it has launched a live chat feature on all of its live channels and Pay Per View events. The new chat feature provides a way for JumpTV users to share the experience of live television with viewers from around the world.
In the near future, the live chat functionality will also be part of the company’s Applications Programming Interface, or “Jumper”, which allows for distribution of JumpTV’s live-streaming channels to websites other than www.JumpTV.com.
JumpTV is focused on introducing additional community and interactive elements throughout 2007. As an example, in the near future, the company intends to launch a content-rating system and a customer re-selling program.
Later this year the company also plans to offer much of its content free to view to consumers in the United States by selling advertising around the programming. Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, president and CEO, noted, “In anticipation of our free-to-consumer, ad-supported launch for much of our content in the United States, we are introducing functionality both on our retail website of www.JumpTV.com and, more importantly, on our Jumper API. The Jumper supports a dramatic expansion in usage which we believe will position JumpTV to generate commensurate advertising revenue.”
The introduction of ad-supported free access signals a change of policy for the internet TV broadcaster as until now the model has been based on subscription fees for the 290 channels from 70+ countries with currently customers in over 100 countries. The creation of the Jumper API is an interesting development which will allow websites catering for niche (and ethnic) audiences to target the channels that are being distributed via JumpTV. For the moment the new business model will only be available in the USA.